jazz

Squeezy Cheese and Traditions

Tessa Souter at Montage for opening night at Rochester International Jazz Fest

Arriving earlier than usual on Day One at RIJF, we had a nice walk through the streets as bands tuned up, vendors stocked up, and fans lined up. It was barely past 4 pm and the line was around the fence for Acoustic Alchemy scheduled to play Harro East Ballroom at 5:30.

Books and Music: American Music Month

November is American Music Month, and WXXI has been playing music by American composers throughout the month. I only just discovered this celebration when I arrived here, and it has been wonderful to get to hear a lot of American music, and to choose some interesting examples to feature on my programs in the afternoons and evenings.

In addition to listening to music, I love reading (sometimes about music, sometimes about time travel and exploding alien spaceships...). I have a few recent books I've enjoyed that relate to American music. Here are my suggestions if you want to do a little reading, in addition to listening. I'd also love to hear if you have any suggestions that I should add to my reading list!

Thank you to those who contacted the Governor's Office and our local delegation in support of public broadcasting!

I never thought I’d breathe a sigh of relief about “only” a 20% reduction in State operating aid, but given the alternative – a proposed 50% cut – it was the best for which we could have hoped.
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Today's Memory

Bill FrissellBill Frissell
The 2007 Rochester International Jazz Fest had moments that still resonate. Times I actually remember thinking how glad I was to be right there, right then, listening.

It's not a stretch in any way to link Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan, and Hank Williams, other than Bob has a different last name. Two of the finest, if not the finest songwriters to grace our culture, and one not far behind, slightly more hidden, just as emotionally rich, and from a female perspective.

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Yesterday's Memory Today

downchild bluesdownchild bluesWord was out The Downchild Blues Band had inspired the creation of a well know blues act featured on Saturday Night Live, and later of hollywood fame. The Blues Brothers eventually had enough credibility to share the screen with the likes of Aretha Franklin and Cab Calloway.

I'm not sure Downchild ever got billing with the stars, but they did make it to High Fidelity for the jazz fest this year, and it was actually a lot of fun.

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Jazz Fest 2008

Kevin BreitKevin BreitBeginning with the final show, the final song, of the 2008 Rochester International Jazz Fest, I'll be revisiting some of the more curious and memorable performances from this year's festival. Along the way I'll mix in shows from the 2007 RIJF, as well.

2009 RIJF Wish List

Well, the seventh edition of the Rochester International Jazz Festival is history, and it turned out OK. I was one of many who was underwhelmed by the list of headliners but, as always, there was plenty of great music to enjoy. So now what about next year? I think they ought to set up a big interactive voting thing on the website, so everyone in the community could weigh in. But I also imagine they probably get tired of hearing people ask, "Why don't you book so-and-so?" Even so...

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Let's Get Married

Marc Iacona and John Nugent put out their open hands, palms down, and with heads bowed, raised and lowered their arms to each other. But the real praise on stage last night at the Eastman Theater was for God and the gift he gave Al Green.

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Gothic coolness

I finally made it to the Rochester International Jazz Festival last night.

It was cloudy and chilly. A few hundred people milled around Gibbs Street, and most wore jackets or sweatshirts. Smoke from vendors’ booths drifted down past Eastman Theatre, and a line snaked around the corner for David Murray's Black Saint Quartet in Kilbourn Hall. The sight of the crowds made me happy.

The Bad Plus Plus One

Julia Figueras told me first. Then I heard it from Dave Sluberski, WXXI's audio engineer. The Bad Plus brought a singer with them for their Rochester International Jazz Festival appearance. A singer?! I admit I was skeptical. The trio works so well on their own, a singer could only get in the way, I thought.

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